Overview of our Project: The Kennedy Era

Executive Summary:

Our project reviews the Kennedys’ impact on political and cultural affairs in the 1960’s. By delving into RFK’s and JFK’s influences on the American populace, we explore how these two popular figures had such an impact on the lives of so many different citizens. The development of the Kennedy brand stemmed from a growing bond between two brothers; one brought a new level of idealism to political society, and the other’s tireless loyalty and personal strength helped forge connections with ordinary Americans. By interweaving media, idealism and charisma, the Kennedys inspired a generation of Americans to challenge the present conditions and dream of a better future.

This project fills the gap in our semester studies by explaining why so many Americans lamented the fall of the Kennedy brothers. Americans, inspired by the personal appeal and lofty rhetoric of the Kennedy brand, wanted to change some of the tragic conditions that plagued the larger American populace. For example, a large part of the impetus for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was undoubtedly JFK’s assassination, and the resulting push to pass the bill served as a “living monument” of his legacy. Many Americans felt robbed of the dream that once was Camelot. Without a public figure to rally around in the late 1960s and early 1970s, many Americans lost their ideological anchor to political life and felt powerless to confront later injustices. The Kennedys had a major impact on the 1960s, and their contributions deserve to be examined in our class. We cannot view America without viewing the Kennedys.